THE MONDAY MORNING REWIND:
Looking back at the players, plays and games that caught our attention over the weekend. Let us know what you saw and heard.
If you’re a Kentucky fan, the one positive you could take out of Saturday’s loss to Georgia was the play of Raymond Sanders.
The freshman tailback from Stone Mountain’s Stephenson High School, playing in relief of injured starter Derrick Locke, was impressive against the Bulldogs. He finished the game with 171 all-purpose yards and one touchdown. Sanders had 79 yards rushing on 16 carries, seven catches for 77 yards receiving — including a nine-yard touchdown — and 15 yards on a kickoff return.
Sanders was about the only player coach Joker Phillips had anything good to say about afterward.
“You know, we’ve seen it all most of the year from Raymond,” Phillips told reporters after the Bulldogs’ 44-31 victory. “Raymond is a really determined runner. He’s a really sharp kid, catches the ball well. He’s a perfect back for what we do. He makes some people miss and he got stronger as the game went on. I’m just proud of him.”
Sanders led DeKalb County in rushing as a senior at Stephenson last year with 1,604 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Christian Harris proves worth in overtime win over Woodstock
I got a first-hand look at Tennessee commitment Christian Harris on Friday night when I covered the Etowah-Woodstock game as part of the broadcast crew for the Channel 2 Sports Zone Friday Game of the Week. I was impressed.
Harris wowed the standing-room only crowd for the critical 5-AAAAA contest with a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown in the game. He also was in on the game-deciding play in overtime as the Eagles stopped Woodstock and running back Tanner Skogen on fourth-and-inches on the goal line in the opening possession of the overtime period. Etowah (8-1) won the game 17-14 on Kyle Riordan’s 24-yard field goal.
Harris, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker, committed to Tennessee way back in March. He was just one of several prospects in the game.
Skogen, a Furman commitment who’s still getting looks from Georgia Tech and several other Football Bowl Subdivision schools, had a TD run and pass in the game. And Etowah wide receiver Barrett Burns (6-5, 215), a junior, was a difference-maker. He finished with four catches for 40 yards and a touchdown.
This week the Channel 2 Sports Zone Friday Game of the Week is down at Sandy Creek, which plays host to Fayette County. Sandy Creek wide receiver Alex Chisum, a Cincinnati commitment, is on pace to break a bunch of Calvin Johnson’s records down there. He had four catches for 117 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Spalding.
UGA running back targets shine
A couple of running backs that are popping up on Georgia’s radar in recruiting had big nights this past Friday.
Marcus Caffey, a 6-foot, 190-pound running back at Grady, stole the spotlight from AJC Super 11 teammate Damian Swann as he rushed for 153 yards on 19 carries — including a 70-yard TD scamper — in a 7-6 win over St. Pius. Georgia appears to be moving toward a possible offer for Caffey, who already has offers from Arkansas, Kentucky and South Carolina, among others.
Meanwhile, 2012 prospect Geno Smith outshone Swann in a battle of two of Atlanta’s best skill players. Swann, who plays as much wide receiver as he does cornerback, had two catches for 24 yards. Smith recorded two interceptions.
Up in Northeast Georgia, Elbert County RB Valdon Cooper retrerned a kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown and had another 98 rushing yards for the Blue Devils. He, too, is gaining notice from the Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ No. 1 target, AJC Super 11 running back Isaiah Crowell, did not play in Carver-Columbus’ 47-0 win over Kendrick. The focus of an intense recruiting battle between Alabama and Georgia, Crowell is nursing foot, ankle and knee injuries.
Etc.: Alec Ogletree gets first start at UGA . . .
Newnan grad Alec Ogletree got his first start for Georgia as a true freshman, but it was on offense rather than defense. The 6-foot-3, 224-pound safety actually started at wide receiver as part of the Bulldogs’ plan to smash-mouth Kentucky with their running game. Ogletree is a devastating perimeter blocker. He’s also playing a lot on defense and special teams. . . . Meanwhile, Da’Rick Rogers, a fellow member of the 2009 AJC Super 11 team, continues to struggle to prove his worth for Tennessee. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound wide receiver from Calhoun was supposed to be a bigger part of the game plan against Alabama on Saturday. However, he finished with just two catches for 19 yards and one rush for three yards. The five-star prospect has just six receptions for 41 yards and no touchdowns this season. . . .
Valdosta ATH Malcolm Mitchell had five catches for 194 yards and a 94-yard TD on a kickoff return in the Wildcats’ 21-7 win over Tift County. . . . The Stephenson running back duo of Mike Davis and Willie Davis (no relation) rushed for more than 100 yards each for the fourth consecutive week in a 30-19 win over East Coweta. Willie, a South Florida commitment, had 110 yards. Mike, the younger brother of former Clemson star James Davis, had 120 for the Jaguars (8-0). . . . RB Wantavious Washington had a 202 yards on 27 carries — including a 74-yard TD run — in Griffin’s 10-6 win over Dutchtown. . . . RB N’Quan Maggett scored four TDs for Tucker. . . .
Georgia Tech commitment Chris Milton rushed for 142 yards on six carries and scored three touchdowns — including a 90-yard kickoff return — while playing quarterback in a 53-3 win over Bacon County. . . . McEachern tight end Rory Anderson, who has multiple ACC and SEC offers, caught a game-winning 13-yard TD pass from Trent Thompson in a 31-28 win over North Cobb. . . . AJC Super 11 RB/DB Brian Randolph, a Tennessee commitment, led Kell with 197 yards rushing in a 55-30 win over North Paulding.